Buying a home can be a very intimidating process, especially if you've never done it before!
I can help walk you through the entire process.
Step 1: Check Your Credit Report & Score
- Before obtaining a mortgage loan of any kind, you should always check your credit. According to the law, you can receive one free copy of your credit report each year. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com. Don't forget to check your report for errors. If there are any errors, dispute them and it may help your score.
Step 2: How Much Home Can You Afford?
- Use an online mortgage calculator (-->) to help you figure out an affordable monthly mortgage payment. Don't forget to factor in money you'll need for a down payment, closing costs, fees (appraisal, inspection, etc), and the costs of any remodeling if needed. You should note that you do not always have to put down 20 percent; there are loans available with very minimum down payment options (FHA). An experienced lender can help you understand all of your options. Contact me if you need help with estimating costs or finding a lender. You will need to obtain a pre-approval letter as most sellers require this to be submitted with an offer.
Step 3: Find the Right Home
- Make a list of all the necessities you need in a home. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? How much space? Do you want a large kitchen? A 2-car garage? A big yard for your kids and/or pets to play in? Once you've made a list of must-haves, don't forget to think about the kind of neighborhood you want, types of schools in the area, etc. I will work with you to find a home that fits all of these needs.
Step 4: Make an Offer
- Once we find your dream home, we will make an offer. I will run a search of comparable properties so that we can decide on the best price to offer. Once we've made an offer, this is not final. The seller may counter your offer to which you can also counter again. We will usually meet somewhere in the middle and once a price is agreed upon, all parties will need to sign a fully executed contract. You will then make an earnest money deposit, which is money that goes in escrow to give the seller a sign of good faith.
Step 5: Complete a Home Inspection
- Unless otherwise negotiated in your contract, usually a 10-15 day home inspection period is outlined in your agreement. This period gives you the right to inspect the home to verify the property's structural soundness and condition. If stated in your contract, you may back out of the deal and still receive your earnest money deposit back if you do not wish to purchase the property. You may or may not also re-negotiate any repairs instead.
Step 6: Close on Your Home
- On average, cash deals take approximately 30 days to close while financed transactions can take around 45 days. THIS IS ALL DEPENDENT ON MANY FACTORS to include your lender needs, property conditions, title defects, etc. I work closely with the title company and your lender to ensure a smooth process.
Step 7: Move In
- Congratulations! This is the best part of the home buying experience.